Putting wellness back into work

Normal sleep patterns and how to improve sleep.

The state of health in corporate Australia

With over 60% of Australians overweight and 45% experiencing a mental health condition in their lifetime,  it comes as no surprise that the environment that we spend the most time in – our working environment – might contribute significantly to our health (or lack thereof, as it may be). Indeed, many working environments facilitate a sedentary life, increased stress, poor posture, poor sleep, a poor diet, and the use of alcohol or drugs.

Further, the average professional Australian has at least 4 risk factors that makes them vulnerable to poor health. Each factor is a category for a whole suite of lifestyle related diseases, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol use, smoking, excess weight, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These risk factors may give way to diseases such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, depression, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, oral diseases, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis [1].

Scary huh?

What’s also scary is that unbalanced and unhealthy work environments are becoming more and more normal.

Several years ago, Goldman Sachs courted controversy when they announced they had capped their internship working hours to 17 hours per day. No longer were interns allowed to work past midnight, and they couldn’t arrive earlier than 7am. This policy was developed in light of the fact that one of their interns had died of an epileptic seizure, attributed to his working 72 hours straight.

However, this is not an isolated incident. Barclays came under media fire for their 10 commandments for summer interns, which stipulated that they should bring a pillow to work to ease overnight stays, to always wear their jacket, and to always be the last ones to leave the office at night. (In Barclays defence, they have said that the commandments were a joke and the 10 commandments were not authorised by the company.)

Whilst most workplaces might not demand such crazy hours or require employees to completely give over their life to their employer, it is likely that you would have experienced, or at least heard of, unbalanced working arrangements.

And considering that most spend the majority of their day in their workplace, where lolly bowls decorate kitchen counters, vending machines guard the halls and where staff birthdays (and therefore cakes) occur every other week, it seems like a good idea to bring back some good old healthy balance to the working environment.

The ultimate wealth is health

Studies have shown that healthy employees are good for the bottom line: not only will are staff happier, but good workplace health decreases the rate of absenteeism, staff turnover, workers compensation, disability, and early retirement, whilst increasing productivity [2]. According to this study, healthy workers are more productive: healthy employees clocked 143 hours per month of effective work, whilst unhealthy employees clocked 49 effective work hours.

However the biggest case for corporate wellness comes from how employees feel: do they really want to wake up every day from a headache, feel sluggish and bloated from a poor diet, or risk postural injuries because of a poorly set up workstation? And no-one wants to spend their working day next to a colleague who continually complains of stomach cramps or who smells of the takeaway they had for lunch.

The Health Space difference

That is where Health Space Corporate Wellness kicks in. Health Space understands that professionals are time poor, yet are often in need of health services. Through chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition and massage, Health Space can deliver onsite health services that are effective, safe and time efficient, and that make a difference.

Health Space has decades of experience in holistic health, and can offer holistic consults so that employees can gain a deep understanding of the state of their total health. From correcting workstation set up, improving posture, and learning to manage stress effectively, eat correctly, and how to make healthy snacks quickly and easily, Health Space wellness professionals can provide practical tips and information so that staff can walk away feeling empowered to change their health for the better.

To register your interest for a corporate wellness evaluation or find out more about our services, get in contact for a personalised wellness chat.

[1] Source: Dr John Lang’s Workshop Paper – Prevention and Wellness

[2] Benefits to business: the evidence for investing in worker health and wellbeing.

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